Management of Myelomeningocele Study Clinical Trial (2003–2010)

Management of Myelomeningocele Study Clinical Trial (2003–2010)From February 2003 to December 2010, researchers of the Management of Myelomeningocele Study, or MOMS, clinical trial compared the safety and efficacy of different treatments for a specific type of spina bifida, called myelomeningocele. Myelomeningocele, the most frequent and severe form of spina bifida, is a condition in which the bony spinal column does not develop correctly, which causes an opening of the spine, exposure of the spinal cord, and formation of a small sac containing cerebrospinal fluid. Myelomeningocele affects 3.4 infants per 10,000 live births in the United States and is fatal in ten percent of affected infants. Investigators in the MOMS trial aimed to find a more successful

CRISPR Acquired Resistance Against Viruses (2007)

CRISPR Acquired Resistance Against Viruses (2007)In 2007, Philippe Horvath and his colleagues explained how bacteria protect themselves against viruses at Danisco, a Danish food company, in Dangé-Saint-Romain, France. Horvath and his team worked to improve the lifespan of bacteria cultures for manufacturing yogurt and ice cream. Specifically, they focused on bacteria’s resistance to bacteriophages, or viruses that infect bacteria. Horvath and his colleagues found that the bacteria used to culture yogurt, Streptococcus thermophilus, has an adaptive immune system that can target specific viruses that have previously infected the bacteria. The immune system is called the CRISPR/cas system, or the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR associated protein system. Horvath and his

David Reimer and John Money Gender Reassignment Controversy: The John/Joan Case

David Reimer and John Money Gender Reassignment Controversy: The John/Joan CaseIn the mid-1960s, psychologist John Money encouraged the gender reassignment of David Reimer, who was born a biological male but suffered irreparable damage to his penis as an infant. Born in 1965 as Bruce Reimer, his penis was irreparably damaged during infancy due to a failed circumcision. After encouragement from Money, Reimer’s parents decided to raise Reimer as a girl. Reimer underwent surgery as an infant to construct rudimentary female genitals, and was given female hormones during puberty. During childhood, Reimer was never told he was biologically male and regularly visited Money, who tracked the progress of his gender reassignment. Reimer unknowingly acted as an experimental subject in

Using Digital PCR to Detect Fetal Chromosomal Aneuploidy in Maternal Blood (2007)

Using Digital PCR to Detect Fetal Chromosomal Aneuploidy in Maternal Blood (2007) In 2007, Dennis Lo and his colleagues used digital polymerase chain reaction or PCR to detect trisomy 21 in maternal blood, validating the method as a means to detect fetal chromosomal aneuploidies, or an abnormal number of chromosomes in a cell. The team conducted their research at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, and at the Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. Because small amounts of fetal DNA appear in maternal blood during pregnancy, Lo and his team

City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health (1983)

City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health (1983)In the 1983 case City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health the US Supreme Court ruled that certain requirements of the city of Akron’s “Regulation on Abortion” ordinance violated women’s rights to abortions. Despite the legalization of abortion in the 1973, with the US Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, individual states passed legislation regulating certain aspects of abortion. The city of Akron, Ohio, passed legislation in 1978 that regulated when and where abortions could be conducted, the consent process leading up to abortions, and the disposal

"CRISPR /Cas9-mediated Gene Editing in Human Tripronuclear Zygotes" (2015), by Junjiu Huang et al.

"CRISPR /Cas9-mediated Gene Editing in Human Tripronuclear Zygotes" (2015), by Junjiu Huang et al.In 2015, Junjiu Huang and his colleagues reported their attempt to enable CRISPR/cas 9-mediated gene editing in nonviable human zygotes for the first time at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China. Their article, "CRISPR /Cas9-mediated Gene Editing in Human Tripronuclear Zygotes," was published in Protein and Cell. Nonviable zygotes are sperm-fertilized eggs that cannot develop into a fetus. Researchers previously developed the CRISPR/cas 9 gene editing tool, which is a system that originated from bacteria as a defense mechanism against viruses. In their article, Huang and his team demonstrate that

Bernadine Healy (1944–2011)

Bernadine Healy (1944–2011)During the twentieth century in the United States, Bernadine Patricia Healy was a cardiologist who served as the first female director of the National Institutes of Health or NIH and the president of both the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross. Healy conducted research on the different manifestations of heart attacks in women compared to men. At the time, many physicians underdiagnosed and mistreated coronary heart disease in women. Healy's research illustrated how coronary heart disease affected women. Healy was also the deputy science advisor to the United States president Ronald Reagan, and during her time at the NIH, she founded the Women's Health Initiative. That initiative was a $625 million research study that aimed to determine how

Pfeffer Cell Apparatus

Pfeffer Cell ApparatusThe Pfeffer Zelle (Pfeffer Cell Apparatus), invented by Wilhelm Pfeffer in 1877, measured the minimum pressure needed to prevent a pure solvent from passing into a solution across a semi-permeable membrane, called osmotic pressure. The apparatus provided Pfeffer with a way to quantitatively measure osmotic pressure. Pfeffer devised the apparatus in the 1870s at the University of Basel in Basel, Switzerland, and he described the Pfeffer Cell Apparatus in his 1877 book Osmotische Untersuchungen: Studien Zur Zellmechanik (Osmotic Investigations: Studies on Cell Mechanics). Pfeffer relied on nineteenth century experiments of Moritz Traube in Germany, who

What Every Mother Should Know (1914), by Margaret Sanger

What Every Mother Should Know (1914), by Margaret Sanger What Every Mother Should Know was published in 1914 in New York City, New York, as a compilation of newspaper articles written by Margaret Sanger in 1911. The series of articles informed parents about how to teach their children about reproduction and it appeared in the newspaper New York Call. In 1911, the newspaper series was published as a book, with several subsequent editions appearing later. In What Every Mother Should Know, Sanger emphasizes starting education on reproduction early and honestly answering children’s questions. The book acted as a resource for parents and urged readers to be less fearful of approaching the topic with their children. What Every Mother Should Know provided information to the public about sex education and

"Pregnancy Complicating Diabetes" (1949), by Priscilla White

"Pregnancy Complicating Diabetes" (1949), by Priscilla WhiteIn 1949, Priscilla White published "Pregnancy Complicating Diabetes," which described the results and implications of a fifteen-year study about pregnant diabetic women. Published in the American Journal of Medicine, the article details possible causes of and ways to prevent the high fetal mortality rate associated with pregnant diabetic women. Diabetes is a disease in which the body's ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, and it can be particularly dangerous during pregnancies. In her article, White reported that prematurely delivering infants for diabetic pregnant women reduces infant and maternal mortality rates. "Pregnancy Complicating Diabetes" helped make